Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Weekend Fun – A Letter from Lola

While this past weekend the weather was not as enjoyable as the previous one, Mark, Lola and I still had a nice time together. At least that’s what she told her loved ones in Mexico with the following letter. I couldn’t have phrased it better myself! 🙂

California Redwoods

“Hi mom and dad,

I hope you are having a good time in Mexico. While I miss you a lot, I am happy to have remained in my own comfy house. I can lay in my favorite spots, play with my favorite toys, stroll in my favorite yard, bark at my favorite deer, and each time we come back from a car ride or a walk, I am so happy to be home. Sometimes, I don’t even want to leave, because I like it here so much. Last week, when it was so warm, I lagged behind on walks and panted a lot. I can’t believe that these two drag me out into the hills every day! Well, it is kind of nice, but sometimes, I just want to nap.

Grabbing balls at the dog park

The weekend was not going to be nice, weather-wise, so I planned on a lot of time inside and catch up on sleep. No way, José! Since Friday was going to be the nicest day, they quit work around 3pm and off we went, to Ragle Ranch Regional Park. I could smell it from miles away and asked from the moment we approached, whether we could just go to the dog park. Of course, they wanted to go for a walk first, like always. I told them it was not worth it and that chasing balls would be more fun, but they needed some exercise, they said. Of course, the trails were still wet and muddy – I could have predicted that – and their flipflopped feet turned from pink to black. They were not too happy. I heard them mutter something like “Why would they create trails in the lowest parts of the park?”, “They could put some boards over the wettest spots,” and “Good we have a free pass for this park! I wouldn’t want to pay $7 to trot in the muck.” Then, we walked the usual loop with dry footing, on all the upper paths and sidewalks, the longest route possible, to get to the off-leash dog area. I eagerly showed them the way, but they did not want to take any short cuts! Once we got to ball heaven, my ears perked up and I chased balls until I was out of breath. I so love it there! But, you know that.

Afterwards, they took me to The Barlow again, just like last Friday. Those guys rarely go out, but in nice weather and in this unique town, they want to take advantage of what is on offer. This time, we didn’t sit outside on a bar/restaurant patio, but we went inside a funky building called “The Crooked Goat”. It is a brewery and I was not too happy to be sitting under a table. They don’t serve food there, so, despite my biggest efforts, I did not find any crumbs or snacks anywhere on the floor. Then, my luck changed…

One of the servers brought me a massive doggy biscuit. I gladly sat and laid down for that! It was 20 times the size of my own little treats. Not too much later, a customer took a liking to me and suggested he’d get a biscuit from the crew behind the bar for me. I did not mention I already had eaten one of those giants, but just looked at him pleadingly. That was all it took. He managed to secure anther one of those treats for me, and despite some faint objections from my care takers, I gobbled it up. A bit later on, they were caught up in conversation, so they didn’t hear my new best friend, the server, say “I think it is time for another treat.” Little did he know this was going to be my third one. This place is like hitting the jackpot! I couldn’t believe my ears, when the humans said: “We might have to give her a smaller dinner tonight.” But those were worries for later. I happily indulged in my most recent biscuit. This place rocks. I hope we come back every week!

The humans were in a splurging mood, but I was still hungry when we left my favorite brewery, so they picked up some Thai food and ate at home, after feeding me. I lucked out as they did not go through with their threats of a smaller dinner portion. I think I am pretty spoiled, especially, since after dinner, we played with my toys for ages. All of them. They were trying to figure out which one I liked best, full-well knowing I always dig in for my ball if I have a choice. Unless they hide it! I still hadn’t had an afternoon nap! So, we went to bed early.

I love the weekends! I don’t get many naps in, but the humans spend all of their time with me. In return, I don’t stop wagging and any chance I get, I lick them in the face. Especially at 7am in the mornings! I love those early snuggles, until it is time to eat, of course. It was grey and rainy, but they did not want to be cooped up all day. So, they asked me what I wanted to do. “If you want to go to the forest, grab your ball, Lola! And, if you want to go to the beach, grab your bottle toy!” I had a sneaking suspicion they wanted to go to the forest, because they know I ALWAYS pick my ball. Sneaky, those two. I didn’t want to disappoint them, so I grabbed my ball. More playtime. Except that I don’t like to let go of my favorite toy. They are trying to teach me how to fetch and release, but only when I really feel bad for them, I do this. To the forest we went. We drove to Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. Did you know that dogs are allowed on the paved roads there? It must be one of the only big trees parks where we can visit. I enjoyed the new smells and those big giants towering above. We also managed to get on a fire road away from the crowds, where I could fetch sticks to my heart’s content!

In the evening, I could finally take a nap on my rocking chair. I know it rocks now, since one of the humans showed me how to do that. I prefer to remain stationary, though. Anyway, something about “a celebration of her grandma’s life” and going out to a nice restaurant for that. This wonderful lady passed away two weeks ago, and made my female caretaker very sad. She even booked a flight to go to the funeral in Belgium and packed her bags, but then looked at me and canceled it. I’m sure she stayed home for me. Or, it might have had to do with the fact that her oma would have rather she’d spend the money on something fun or nice than on a funeral trip. I think that’s why they went out to The Fork Roadhouse that night. I was so incredibly happy when they returned home. I almost lost my tail from wagging so hard, moaned a bit and licked their faces until they dripped, even though, I barely noticed that they had been gone, since I slept and dreamt of the redwoods. It was good to have them back, so we could play with my ball some more.

On Sunday morning, my two friends felt bad for me. See, each time they crack eggs, I expect my part, the yolk, since I am used to that from you, mommy. I rush over to the kitchen when I hear the familiar sound. These guys, though, eat all the parts of all the eggs, so except for the rare yolk, they are just selfish and eat everything themselves. This morning they decided to make up. The male cooked poached eggs, even for me!!! Man, oh man… Once my portion was cooled off in my bowl, I gobbled it up like nothing else. I licked my bowl for minutes afterwards. They had to tell me three times it was all gone. I didn’t believe them. I drank some water and then returned to my food bowl for good measure. Much better than raw yolk!

I did not get to pick where we would go on Sunday afternoon. The beach was on the agenda! But first, the male discovered a tiny tick on my cheek. That had to go. “Flea and tick medicine is not foolproof,” they said, when I raised my invisible eyebrows. They also praised me with a treat after the creature had been removed. Because I had been so patient, they said. We had discovered a really cool trail called “Pinnacle Gulch” last week, leading to a remote and pretty beach. I loved it there so much, that we decided to go back this weekend. Fog or no fog, cloudy skies or not. A beach is a beach if you ask me. There are always waves, sticks and even a coconut this time, to play with.

We ran and jumped and chased nature’s toys and waves. We clambered over rocks and returned via a different trail. I was pretty spent after that and sent the humans to the cinema, so I could finally catch up on some rest. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t ecstatic when they returned home, of course. By then, it was time for a late dinner, belly rubs and playtime.  I rummaged through my toy basket, until I found… my ball. The humans think I am funny. But, I know they love me to bits. I see it in their eyes and feel it when they pet, kiss and hug me.

Today, it is dark and raining. I don’t think they will pull me outside the house for a walk, but you never know. I am resting on the bed. It is the comfiest spot, despite the warm fire downstairs. The male pulled another tick off me. It came out of the yard this time. Another 11 days until I get my next portion of the medicine. I hope the little bastards will leave me alone after that! But, some extra attention from the humans is never a bad thing, and there is a treat involved at the end of the removal procedure! I can’t complain, really.

My comfiest spot!

Enjoy your time in the tropics. I have to say, while the humans don’t appreciate it too much, I am happy with the cooler climate after those few hot days last week. My fur protects me and I feel friskier than ever!

With love,

Lola xxx

PS: The female thinks this letter might make a nice blog post. I think she is just being lazy to come up with her own story!”

What did you do this weekend?


  1. Lola is one smart dog…and very articulate at that!
    PS – If we ever need a pet-sitter in the future, you and Mark would be my FIRST choice!

    • When can we come? 🙂 We are still on the lookout for a Pacific Northwest house sit between June 23rd and the end of September or so. But, we are not in too much of a rush to commit yet. 🙂

      • We sadly do not have any pets right now. But our home is free in September if you need a place to crash!

        • Thanks, Donna! We will keep that in mind. 🙂 We have seen quite a few houses without pets listed. Usually the owners like to have a presence in the home and someone to water the plants and keep an eye on things. All that can be done by neighbors as well, of course. We have had a few instances, where we prevented major damage and costs by noticing something that was off and taking action. Maybe one day I will write a post about that as well…

  2. A great post Lola, we look forward to reading more of your stories ☺ Big woofs from Eivor and Pearl 😉🐾🐾

  3. One of you best blogs ever. If you are ever in Florida between house sitting you are welcome to stay with us.

    • Thanks for the offer, Carol. If we are ever in Florida again, it will be in the winter time! 🙂 We will let you know!

  4. Lola is one smart dog! And, you are one smart human to “borrow” her letter for your blog post! It looks like you are having a great time. I love that area – there is so much to do and it really is beautiful (especially when it’s not pouring rain).

    I’m glad you were able to celebrate your oma in the way she wanted you to.

    • You kind of nudged me to eating out at a nice restaurant, Janis. Thank you for that! We do like it here, but hope the rain will cease soon. We are saving some of the more “extravagant and interesting” sites for when my cousin is here, visiting from Belgium. Stay tuned! 🙂

  5. What a chatterbox Lola is – and so clever at writing! Glad all is well with her and her humans.

  6. This is just so sweet, Liesbet! Lola is a heck of a writer! I’ve been wanting to write a post from Aero’s perspective…soon, soon! I love that you took her to that brewery. There is at least one brewery Hans found that is dog-friendly. When Brodie is 4 months old and had all his shots, we can start taking him out. No doubt both dogs will end up there.

    • Sebastopol appears to be quite dog-friendly, which is so important for us, especially since California is quite strict in regards to dogs when it comes to beaches and state parks… 🙁 Some people like to read blog posts and articles from the perspective of dogs, others don’t. I have noticed in many writer’s guidelines of pet magazines that they do not want any stories from that perspective. When it comes to blogs, though, we can do whatever we want and many readers find it quite endearing.

  7. Very cute. Lola is lucky to have you guys for sitters while her parents are away. I really want to visit those Redwoods. I can’t fathom their size.

    • They are so straight and extremely tall. Majestic in a way. I would like to see the giant sequoias as well, one day, but for now, the redwoods will do. They grow all around us as well, but those are not as tall as the “famous” ones in the parks. I’m sure you will make it over here one day, Ingrid. You are not too far away now. 🙂

  8. I adored this clever post. Lola has charmed her way into my heart! Give her more yolks!

    • Running out of eggs already. Two left for chocolate chip cookies. I’ll have to say “no” when I crack them tomorrow. Lola is a sweetheart and you would love her as much as we do! 🙂

      • Lola makes me miss having a puppy in my life

        • If you ever crave a puppy fix or a comfort/amenities fix, I’m sure there are house sits in Thailand/Malaysia as well. 🙂 Or, maybe there are dog parks, like in the Western World? I always think that if I ever need a doggy fix and don’t have one to attend to, I will just go to one of these off-leash parks and play with them there.

    • Hey! I don’t mean to hijack Liesbet’s post, but it’s good to “see” you here! I hope you are doing well.

      • Lisa is hard to reach these days, isn’t she? It can only mean that real life adventures are keeping her very busy. In Thailand, for example. 🙂

      • Ahoy Janis! Lovely to hear from you! We’ve just sailed into Thailand and have a few months of boat repairs in front of us but if all goes well, we have some extended SE Asia travel to look forward to afterward. Fingers crossed. I should be back in the blogosphere soon. Hugs!

  9. I think you should consider writing your memoir from a dog’s point of view, Liesbet. You’re really good at this 🙂 🙂 If I were to come back to earth as a dog I’d rather like you to be my owner.

    • Are you saying Lola would do a better job than me when it comes to writing a memoir? I guess I can always ask for her help, once she is done napping. 🙂 What kind of dog do you think you will reincarnate in, Jo? Isn’t that an interesting question to answer… As long as it isn’t a small yeppy and snappy one, I’ll gladly be your owner. 🙂

      • It’d be a fun perspective, don’t you think? Sorry- tried to answer this on my phone last night but it wouldn’t send 🙁 🙁 I’d be something big and floppy with hopeless paws 🙂

  10. This is such a cute post! You should write more of these kinds of posts from the perspective of the animals you take care of.

    • I do like Lucy’s posts as well, when Hastings is sitting behind the keyboard, but I don’t think I will make this a common thing. The one other thing I have been meaning to do, when I finally have time for things way on the bottom of my to-do list, is write reviews from all of the animals we sat for. Their personalities will come through in those and, in a way, how much they all meant to us.

  11. Lola sounds like such a sweetheart, and I’m looking forward to reading more about her adventures. She’s one lucky dog, after all — breweries, Redwoods AND dog parks.

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

    • We love to sit dogs who are adventures and up for a ride and new explorations any time! (No, not every dog is.) While she is always very happy to come back home, she sure likes to be included in all of our activities. It is a win-win! 🙂

  12. Lucky hound! This was great, though it only made me want another dog desperately. Curse this tiny yard of mine. I’m glad you found time to have a nice dinner and celebrate your grandmother’s life.

    • Yes! Taking care of a wonderful dog like Lola makes us consider that option as well. Although, we do get enough doggy fixes with this lifestyle. Whenever you move, you will have a bigger yard (and lake close by), right? Better get a dog who loves to swim and chase sticks… 🙂

  13. Lola,
    I’m a little confused. Apparently, there was muck that the humans didn’t like, but you don’t mention rolling in it, jumping all over them, getting muck in the car, and then being confused about why you have to have a bath? Did you fail in your muck-rolling duty? If so, you better seek out some muck and redeem yourself! I am impressed with your treat getting and yolk getting skills. Sometimes humans are hard to train and need a lot of food reminders.
    Love, Hastings.

    • 🙂 Why don’t you teach me all your muddy tricks and I will tell you how to beg for poached eggs, Hastings! And then, together, we can drive our care takers crazy until they shower us with treats for no reason, just out of exasperation!

  14. Lola reminds me of my children. I keep trying to get them outside for a walk and all they want to do is lie around (and stare at their electronics).

    • Yeah… the whole electronics age… I can imagine as a parent that it is tough to encourage kids to explore the outdoors (the real world!) and play with tangible toys. Luckily, Lola is not into iPhones and such, but she does like a good nap. And now, finally after ten days of loads of activity, she is allowed! 🙂

  15. That’s such a cute touch for the pet “parents.” No wonder you’re a sought-after pet/house sitter.

    • Thanks, jmh. We usually try to avoid talking in a dog’s voice, but Lola really wanted to share her experiences with her owners and I could not hold her excitement and chatter back any longer. 🙂

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